State senator known for contentious issues won't run in 2018

ATLANTA (AP) - A state senator known for championing contentious legislation protecting people acting on religious belief has announced that he won't run for re-election.

State Sen. Josh McKoon announced Monday that he won't seek re-election in 2018. McKoon, a Republican from Columbus, said that he is not "taking anything off the table" in terms of what may come next for his career.

When he leaves, he will have served as a senator for eight years, which he said is enough.

McKoon is best known for backing and sponsoring bills giving legal protection to people acting on religious beliefs, loudly opposed by groups that fear the proposals shield discrimination against gay people. He's also been a frequent critic of House leadership and backed various measures he said will make the legislature more transparent.